Dubai Police monitoring social networking sites round the clock

Monitoring of Twitter and Facebook not considered violation of the public’s freedom: top official

Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are subject to round-the-clock monitoring by dedicated teams in Dubai and other emirates, according to  Major Salem Obaid Salmeen, deputy director of anti-electronic crimes of Dubai Police’s CID.

“These electronic patrols are detecting and tracking all topics and materials written and presented on these websites,” he said.

He said monitoring of these websites are not considered as a violation of the public’s freedoms as these sites are public places in the virtual world.

“Anything violation of the law at these web sites will be considered as  abuse and will be punishable as in the real world,” he said.

This statement came on the programme ‘Rouh Al Qanoon’ (Spirit of the Law’) presented by lawyer Essa bin Haider on Radio Noor Dubai.

Major Salem said Dubai police started tracking these websites after it notice abuse and defamation at these sites.

Colonel Mohammed Rashid Al Muhairi, director of tourism security at Dubai Police, said “any person who is subjected to abuse, insult or defamation on social networking sites can complain to any police station.”

He added that they can also file a complaint directly to the Department of Anti-Electronic Crimes of Dubai CID, which will take legal action against those running these sites after verifying the validity and seriousness of the complaint.

Dubai’s police is equipped with the latest technologies in the field and has a qualified team specialising in anti-electronic crimes,” said Major Salmeen.

“Such technologies allow Dubai police to find the source of the abuse which will be kept in the server for 18 months,” he added.

However, he pointed out that in some cases  time is needed to find the violator, confirm the evidence and whether he is inside or outside the UAE, he said.

Meanwhile, Colonel Al Muhairi said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had launched an awareness campaign for foreign tourists through the Internet, stressing the need to respect the customs and traditions  of the UAE.

Lawyer Essa bin Haider asked Emaratis and residents to use social networking sites only for communication and exchange of knowledge and information.

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